Grove Academy students win top place at RGU MATE ROV competition

Grove Academy students win top place at RGU MATE ROV competition

A team of young engineers from Grove Academy in Dundee has once again taken top place in an annual competition at Robert Gordon University and will now have the opportunity to progress to the MATE ROV World Championships in USA.

The team was taking part in the MATE Scotland ROV (Remote Operated Vehicles) competition, co-ordinated by RGU, which saw four secondary school teams from around the country put underwater robots, which they had designed and built, through a series of missions for a place in the World Championships.

A team of former pupils from Grove Academy, ‘HEX Robotics’ emerged victorious, after a panel of industry experts scored the teams on how well they completed the missions, as well as taking into consideration the technical reports, poster displays, and engineering presentations the pupils were required to produce. A team from Keith Grammar, ‘impROVvise’ picked up the second place. Together both teams will take place in the World Championships taking place at East Tennessee State University, USA in August.

Despite COVID-19 restrictions, RGU was able to organise a successful hybrid regional competition where some aspects of the competition were delivered electronically and others, in-person. Both HEX Robotics and impROVvise will be able to complete in the telepresence competition which is available to those teams that have qualified for the World Championship but are not able to attend in person due to travel restrictions.

Every year, the pupils are tasked with tackling real-world problems from around the world. This time, MATE is challenging the community to tackle problems that impact the entire world – plastics clogging our rivers, lakes, waterways, and ocean, from the surface to the bottom of the Mariana Trench; climate change raising ocean temperatures, affecting the health of coral reefs; and, contaminants in our waterways.

The major STEM initiative aims to inspire future engineers through hands-on experience of designing ROVs used underwater in the oil and gas, defence, oceanology and marine renewables industries. The MATE competition requires students to think of themselves as entrepreneurs and transform their teams into companies that manufacture, market, and sell ‘products’. 

RGU engineering lecturer James Philp and Regional co-ordinator, Dr Rosslyn Shanks, said: “This event is really important for all the skills and experience the students gain through their participation. We are incredibly heartened that we were able to organise the competition this year despite the pandemic. Our involvement in this event is part of the university’s strategic aim to widen access to learning and extending the reach of our education”.